Sunday, April 14, 2024

Oscar Buzz as Universal Pulls Out All Stops for “First Man” Toronto Premiere, Will Bus Guests to Theater Resembling Space Ship


Oscar buzz? Universal seems to know it has the potential Best Picture, and they are pulling out all the stops.

Damien Chazelle’s “First Man” will have its Toronto Film Festival premiere at the IMAX Cinesphere, a futuristic building that looks like it’s on the moon or is a space ship. All the press is being shuttled to the Cinesphere, which is not near the Festival. (Actually, we have no idea where it is, and neither will the Toronto cab drivers, so take the bus, kids!)

All the other Toronto movies will premiere in the usual — and very nice– theaters like Roy Thomson Hall and the Princess of Wales.

But Chazelle’s movie is the story of Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, in July 1969. Ryan Gosling, who starred in Chazelle’s much loved “La La Land,” plays Armstrong. The word I’ve heard from sneak advance screenings is that this is it, Oscar wise. Chazelle’s first two movies, “Whiplash” and “La La Land” have already made him a wunderkind. He’s 34 years old, although by the time of the Oscars, he will be acceptably old 35!

“First Man” is debuting right now in Venice. The review embargo lifts at 1:30pm Eastern. Social media reactions from press right now are excellent.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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